NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Lucas Lucido, part-owner of Siete Ocho Siete, has announced that he is selling his shares in the controversial restaurant.
In a statement earlier today, Lucido cited the failure to obtain a cabaret license from the City of New Rochelle as the basis for his decision.
On October 16, after an extensive hearing process, the New Rochelle City Council voted 7-0 to deny an application for a cabaret license to Siete Ocho Siete, a Puerto Rican restaurant that opened over a year ago after extensive renovations predicated on the expectation that a cabaret license would be approved without question.
"Due to the privilege loss of obtaining a Cabaret License," said Lucido, "I’ve decided to part ways with Siete Ocho Siete and sell my shares."
Siete Ocho Siete had previously operated as Mamma Francesca, an Italian restaurant frequented by local politicians and City officials. Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll, Civil Service Commission Chairman Domenic Procopio and Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni, during his time as New Rochelle Mayor, were among the many lunchtime regulars where much of the City's business was reportedly done for many years. Many of the same regulars moved over to Posto 22 when the restaurant closed for renovations.
Cabaret licenses have been managed for many years by the police commissioner in New Rochelle. At the instigation of City Council Member Albert Tarantino, the City Council voted to give City Council control over a new cabaret license process.
Many City Hall insiders believe that the owners of Mamma Francesca were counting on their longtime customer, Police Commissioner Carroll, to smooth the way for their cabaret license approval which many believe explains why ownership would spend what they claim is a million dollars on renovation without first obtaining the proper licensing from the City. Once Tarantino maneuvered within the City Council to take cabaret licensing away from the Police Commissioner, Carroll was unable to exercise his discretion on behalf of the owners of Mamma Francesca.
Lucido says he retains sole ownership of the brand name and intellectual property of Siete Ocho Siete and expects to open another restaurant in the future.